Peer Pressure Handling the Pressure to Drink
•Be upfront: "Do I have to drink to be your friend?"
•Blame a parent: "If my mom smelled alcohol on my breath, I'd be grounded!"
•Make a joke: "No thanks, I have enough trouble remembering things already."
•Remember goals: "No way! I want to make the basketball team!"
•Walk away: "I can't. I'll be late for dinner."
•Be honest: "I don't drink" or "I hate the taste."
Remember the Facts
•Drinking will not make you more attractive or more fun. Would you want to be with someone who is stumbling around or throwing up?
•Alcohol is a dangerous drug. Even small amounts affect your body. And a drinker's recklessness can endanger others.
•Drinking won't make you more grown-up. Having the courage to say no does.
•It might not seem like it, but many teens don't drink.
Take Care of Yourself in Healthy Ways
Drinking never solves problems - and it often creates new ones. Work through problems by talking with a friend, parent, or other trusted adult, writing in a journal, taking a hot bath, exercising, etc. (Consult with a health-care provider before starting an exercise program.)
Know Your True Friends
Good friends will respect your decision not to drink.
For example, join a band, take part in a community service project, play sports or take an acting class. The more time you spend on other activities, the less likely you'll be to drink.
Avoid Pressure Situations
For example, if you know there will be beer at a party, don't go. Plan to go to a movie or do something else with friends instead.
Think About Your Future
What do you want to do? What do you want to be like? Alcohol won't help you reach those goals - it will make them harder to reach.
Your Opinions and Values Count
Stick to them - even if it means saying no to others. You'll respect yourself for standing up for your beliefs.
Learn the Dangers of Alcohol
Tell your friends what you know. Teach them how to say no to drinking too.
Don't Let Others Push You
Once you've made your choice, don't let others try to talk you into drinking. Your friends will look up to you and respect your confidence.